Even During a Pandemic, Autism Does Not Go Away.

Photos by Amy at Piece of Our Heart Project

What if you are a very special teenager with autism who organizes a yearly drive to give back to the developmental center that diagnosed you?

What if you look forward to this drive every April for Autism Awareness month and along comes a pandemic that puts this event on hold?

I personally know this very special young man and he needs our help.

Here’s the story.

“The mastermind behind Piece of Our Heart Project is 15-year-old Michael. Michael was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, among many other comorbid conditions. He’s been in and out of doctors’ offices, autism clinics, and therapy centers for a number of years and lights a trail of love, joy, and happiness wherever he goes.”

Michael’s mom Amy

Michael began several years ago collecting new jigsaw puzzles and sensory items for the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis (KOC). His goal is to “provide a small spark of joy to the children who are leaving the Developmental Center after a long appointment.”

Amy said, “It’s been a hard year to do this, but I get it …EVERYTHING is hard this year! I couldn’t not do it though, when Michael kept bringing it up.”

“There are still kids with autism, and they deserve a treat if they have to go to the hospital. But we will just tell them we tried our best.”


Well that’s enough to touch my heart!

“The sad part about COVID and kids with autism has been the lack of social interaction with therapies. Now that KOC is back open, the families are having to wait in their cars until it’s time for their appointments.”


Can you imagine a child with autism having to sit in the car while waiting for an appointment?

The staff at KOC continues to refine procedures for seeing patients and asks for donations of graphic novels and chewies. This year, donations to Piece of Our Heart Project are really down.

“It’s been tricky to solicit donations this year because of the pandemic, and we understand that many people are unable to help with the requested items. The appointments at KOC have to continue because even during a pandemic, autism does not go away. It’s our last week, and we’d love to get a few more graphic novels and chewies for the kids!” 


Amy and Michael make it so easy to donate through Amazon and have items shipped directly to them. Most items are under $10. Any gift is appreciated by Michael and by the developmental center.

Please check out the link called Amy’s Wish List and consider sending an item.


I will be tuning into their Facebook page today to watch the video of Michael unboxing the items I ordered yesterday!

I hope I will get to see him open a lot more items for the developmental center this week with your help!!


This is the last week for the drive. After it was postponed from it’s normal April schedule, I lost track of it and did not realize until yesterday that they did not have many donations this year.

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